Civil engineering major Brian Peacock ’12 (Haddonfield, N.J.) has recently been awarded a third national-level honor recognizing his work in environmental research.
After receiving a 2011 Udall Scholarship and an Environmental Protection Agency-Greater Research Opportunity fellowship, last month Peacock received an Undergraduate Student Award in Environmental Chemistry from the American Chemical Society.
The society’s division of environmental chemistry sponsors annual awards presented to outstanding full-time undergraduate students currently enrolled in chemistry, environmental engineering, or other programs emphasizing environmental chemistry.
Peacock is fascinated with the field of ecological engineering, which uses artificial ecosystems to treat and use waste. He plans to pursue a Ph.D. in the field and is preparing research on wetlands that will become his senior honors thesis.
“Professors Art Kney and Steve Mylon nominated me for the award without my knowledge,” he says. “The award was very unexpected. It is inspiring to be recognized for the research I am doing and to know that others see potential in it.”
Peacock was among 80 scholars in the nation selected to receive a Udall Scholarship on the basis of commitment to careers in the environment, leadership potential, and academic achievement. His Environmental Protection Agency-Greater Research Opportunity fellowship provides funding for research supplies, tuition assistance, a stipend, and a three-month internship with the EPA this summer.
Peacock believes Lafayette’s undergraduate opportunities and one-on-one attention from faculty have helped him develop the skills needed to secure all three of these honors.
“The research facilities are outstanding and the small size of the school has enabled me to access all of the facilities with unprecedented ease,” says Peacock. “It has been great to work closely with professors and have the freedom to explore my own ideas.”
Peacock studied abroad in New Zealand, where he worked with Dan Hikuroa, community earth systems science programmes manager at the Institute for Earth Science and Engineering in Auckland. Peacock used geographic information systems to develop a riparian buffer placement tool, which employs data to assess hydrological, ecological, pollution, economic, social, and cultural merits to rank sites for restoration and preservation. He presented the project at the 25th National Conference on Undergraduate Research.
He collaborated with Kney, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, in research on constructed wetlands. Their work was presented at the 2010 ASCE World Environmental & Water Resources Congress and published in the conference proceedings. He also worked with Kney; Laurie Caslake, associate professor and head of biology; and engineering studies major Andrea Mikol ’13 (Wind Gap, Pa.) to develop a biofilm to use as a tool for water and wastewater treatment technologies. Their work won second place at the American Water Works Association Pennsylvania Section conference.
Peacock is a member of the College’s Sustainability Committee, Lafayette Environmental Awareness and Protection, and the College composting project, and is president of Lafayette’s Society of Environmental Engineers and Scientists.
See a list of recent Lafayette recipients of national and international scholarships and fellowships for undergraduate and post-graduate study. For information on applying for scholarships and fellowships, contact Julia A. Goldberg, associate dean of the College, (610) 330-5521.